Nine Mile Canyon
Quick Facts: This 40-mile-long canyon is full of Archaic, Fremont and Ute rock art, historical ranches and structures.
Location: 20 miles north of Wellington, UT
Services: Wilderness area, one day area offers toilets, picnic tables and can accommodate large groups. There is a private campground in the canyon, Nine Mile Bunk and Breakfast.
Nine Mile Canyon is a step back in time. The stories of people who lived there centuries ago grace the walls of its sheer cliffs. This canyon, filled with the best rock art in the west, gives a view of the life of the Archaic, Fremont and Ute people. This unique canyon outside of Wellington, is an international treasure.
The College of Eastern Utah Prehistoric Museum in Price is a good place to begin a journey through Nine Mile Canyon. Advice from locals who know the area, roadside guidebooks and brochures including the Nine Mile Canyon Guide [link to the entire contents of the Nine Mile Canyon Guide] are available there. The best way to travel the canyon is with a professional guide service who can show you rock art and dwellings that most people miss.
The rugged, remote canyon begins 20 miles north of Wellington and stretches 40 miles along the northern side of the Book Cliffs. Click here to see maps. [Nine Mile Map: how to get to it and map of the canyon] The Nine Mile day use area offers toilets and picnic tables that can accommodate large groups.
Nine Mile Canyon’s rock art has been featured in National Geographic and many other publications because of its beauty and intensity. Over 1,000 sites have been catalogued to date. Large panels of rock art can be found just a few feet from the road. Travelers can wonder at the meaning of the carvings.
Foreboding desert mountains, cactus and brush-filled dunes and peaks surround Nine Mile Canyon.
The Native Americans, farmers, outlaws and ranchers who dared to live in this canyon have fought every ugly element known to Mother Nature. Only the toughest humans that have lived amid these rocky walls have survived.
This untouched wilderness allows travelers to see the rock art created centuries ago in the setting that it was created. The varied styles of rock art and evidence discovered by archeologists show that this canyon has been home to Native American Indians for thousands of years.
Nine Mile Canyon is a wilderness area. It is advised that visitors take plenty of food and water, check weather conditions and if possible travel in two vehicles. Read the know before you go guide for more information.
Nine Mile is an outdoor museum with remarkable examples of Native American rock art and remnants of dwellings. The area contains the greatest concentration of rock art in the United States.